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WEST AFRICAN INTERNET FORUM, ABUJA (26-28 AUGUST 2003)

Following the East African Internet Forum at ACT 2002 in Nairobi last year, and the Southern African Internet Forum organized by AITEC and Balancing Act in South Africa in April, WAIF will be a key platform for ISPs, regulators, policy-makers and civil society organizations from throughout West Africa to meet, share knowledge and experiences and formulate best practice strategies for Internet development in the region. The Forum will be supported by the ISP Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Internet Group and the African ISP Association.

DAY 1

Session 1
The potential for growth in the West African Internet business and the challenges faced
Sunday Folayan, Skannet (Nigeria) and Nii Quaynor, NCS (Ghana) will outline recent developments and future potential for internet growth in the region. Russell Southwood will look at the key challenges that those involved in the West African Internet business will face in the next three years.

Session 2
The challenge for the regulators - how can the regulatory framework encourage internet growth?
A representative from the Nigerian Communications Commission (invited) and Josh Peperah, Director for Regulations and Licensing, National Communications Authority (Ghana) reflect on how as regulators they can provide an environment that will encourage the internet business to flourish in West Africa.

Session 3
Online resolution dispute in Africa
Two leading experts Richard Francis, iGovernance and Neil Dundas, John and Kernick look at the issues raised by resolving domain disputes online.

Session 4
IXPs, RXPs and PAVIX - Why Internet exchanges matter
Brian Longwe of AfrISPA looks at why keeping local traffic local is important for West African ISPs and how this can be achieved. Fisayo Adeleke describes the experience of the Ibadan IXP in Nigeria, the continent’s first fully solar powered exchange.

DAY 2

Session 1
Cyber-crime - Creating the basis for trust for e-business
The development of e-commerce in West Africa is being stunted by a number of issues of trust. In this session, Mark Davies, BusyInternet (Ghana) looks at the types of crimes being carried out over the internet and Maxwell Kadiri, GIPI describes the type of legal framework that needs to be put in place to create more trust in the process.

Session 2
Why ICANN matters and how Africa can get involved
For all the debates about its role, ICANN remains the key international institution responsible for the internet. In this session, the speakers seek to provide answers to the question: how can Africa influence its policies and to what end?
Anne-Rachel Inne, ICANN talks about her work in seeking to involve Africa in its work and Mouhamet Diop, Next (Senegal) speaks from firsthand experience about the work of ICANN and its relevance to the continent.

Session 3
What’s in a name? Exploring why domain name issues matter
Adomou Iro (Niger) looks at how to build a ccTLD in an African country and the issues that affect how you go about its creation. And Andrew Kawamara, ITU looks at what happens when cybersquatting occurs and the types of routes open for domain dispute resolution.

Session 4
What are the priorities for growing the Internet in West Africa? Giving a voice to the Forum
There will be a facilitated group discussion to identify the policy actions that will aid Internet growth in West Africa. The facilitator will then work with the group to prioritise the key action points.

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